Bay Son a Brilliant and Gifted Surgeon
Paediatrician dedicated life to children with urologic disorders.
Dr Brian Eric Hardy, an acclaimed son of Hawke’s Bay who became a noted paediatric urologist in the United States, died at his home in Los Angeles on January 29, aged 70.
An obituary in the Los Angeles Times described Dr Hardy as “a brilliant and gifted surgeon who dedicated his career to improving the lives of children affected with urologic disorders”.
He was in his 29th year as division chief of paediatric urology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and associated professor of urology at the USC Keck School of Medicine when he died.
One of four sons born to the late Norah and Eric Hardy at Takapau, he was educated at the Takapau Primary School [correction in later edition of ‘Hawke’s Bay Today’ – “In fact he received his primary education first through the New Zealand Correspondence School, with his mother acting as teacher, and then at Elsthorpe Primary School…] and St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, before completing undergraduate studies at the University of Otago and then a medical degree, graduating in 1964.
While at Otago, he was a regular member of the University A rugby team, together with good friend and fellow medical student Murray Brennan, who became a noted cancer specialist and chief of surgery at Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York, a post from which he recently retired. Both men also played several games for Otago.
Dr Hardy completed surgical training with the Otago Hospital Board, then undertook a urology residency at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in the early 1970s.
He served as chief resident in urology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital before completing a fellowship in paediatric urology at Harvard Children’s Hospital, Boston.
After a period at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, Dr Hardy was recruited to CHLA and USC Keck in 1984 to serve as the first fulltime chief of paediatric urology.
The Los Angeles Times obituary noted: “As division chief and co-director of the paediatric kidney transplant programme at CHLA, he touched the lives of thousands of children by giving them the gift of life and restoring a sense of normalcy to their childhood.
“As a beloved teacher, mentor and friend, he selflessly nurtured the careers of several generations of young urologists and successfully built the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Division of Paediatric Urology into one of the premier paediatric urology programmes in the nation.”
Dr Hardy married Dunedin nurse Diane Reid in 1965. The couple divorced in 1978. They had two children, Samuel and Victoria. A second son, James, died in infancy.
As well as his children and five grandchildren, Dr Hardy is survived by his three brothers, Michael, a farmer near Takapau, Denis, a retired lawyer [correction in later edition of ‘Hawke’s Bay Today’ – “Mr Hardy is still practising law”], of Havelock North, and Anthony, an Auckland orthopaedic surgeon.
Caption – Improved lives: Dr Brian Hardy also played rugby for Otago
By Robin Charteris
Robin Charteris is a former editor of the Otago Daily Times.